WASHINGTON, DC, April 9, 2014 -- On Monday, April 7, the U.S. Water Alliance hosted the U.S. Water Prize ceremony at the National Geographic Society's headquarters in Washington D.C., which celebrated four winners: Alliance for Water Efficiency, Chicago, IL; American Water, Voorhees, NJ; Metropolitan Sewer District of Greater Cincinnati, OH; and Orange County Water District and Sanitation District, CA.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy connected the winners' accomplishments to EPA's work and discussed the Agency's continued efforts to safeguard the nation's waterways, including its recent landmark proposal to clarify protections for streams and wetlands under the Clean Water Act (CWA).
|EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy (Photo credit: U.S. Water Alliance)
Further, McCarthy announced the release of their second Blueprint addressing energy reduction and recovery at drinking water and wastewater facilities. "The 150,000 drinking water and 15,000 wastewater facilities nationwide account for almost 2 percent of electricity consumption," she said. "That's enough to power 6 1/2 million homes a year."
Commenting after the program, U.S. Water Alliance President Ben Grumbles also said, "The Blueprint shows how bright America's water future can be if innovation and partnership rise to the top. EPA should be commended for articulating a vision and helping others -- public and private, local and national -- to step forward with sustainable solutions to our most important and enduring challenges."
In its fourth year, the U.S. Water Prize are presented to elevate those organizations and individuals with strategies that promote the value of water and the power of innovating and integrating for one water sustainability. The 2014 awards were sponsored by engineering consultants Brown and Caldwell, CH2M Hill, HDR, and Earth Day Texas -- a non-profit organization. Nominations are reviewed by an independent, volunteer panel of judges representative of the most respected leaders in the fields of water and environmental policy.
|Top Row: (L-R) Don Cuthbert, Orren Schneider, Dave Hughes, Mark LeChevallier, Troy Edgar, Jim Herberg, Mike Markus, Jeff Eger. Bottom Row: (L-R) Cindy Paulson, Tony Parrott, Ben Grumbles, Mary Ann Dickinson, Denis Bilodeau, Carole Baker (Photo credit: U.S. Water Alliance)
"There's a thread that ties all these winners together," said McCarthy. "It's that they aren't just thinking about providing clean water today but managing it for the future. That kind of ingenuity requires thinking outside the box. It requires breaking down barriers and cross-collaboration."
Accordingly, "Deputy Secretary Michael Connor, U.S. Department of the Interior, also picked up on the theme as he congratulated the winners: "Innovation in partnerships may very well be the key." He described his experiences touring areas that have been hit by extreme weather and drought. "The urgency of these events epitomizes the phrase, 'water is life.'"
See also: "U.S. Water Alliance announces 2014 U.S Water Prize winners"
About the Winners
Alliance for Water Efficiency
The Alliance for Water Efficiency is a provider of education and advocacy, instilling an ethic of "every drop counts" and proving that a "save more, waste less" strategy applies not just to water but to energy and money as well.
(See also: "Alliance for Water Efficiency awarded 2014 U.S. Water Prize".)
Since 1981, American Water, the Innovation and Environmental Stewardship Team, has been conducting cutting-edge research, development and collaboration to advance the water and wastewater sector, underscoring the value of water and the benefit of technology. More than 20 scientists have been devoting themselves to the effort.
(See also: "American Water awarded 2014 U.S. Water Prize".)
Metropolitan Sewer District of Greater Cincinnati
Metropolitan Sewer District of Greater Cincinnati is pursuing cleaner, greener, and smarter strategies to reduce water pollution, beautify neighborhoods and drive economic development. Their green infrastructure strategy is winning support from regulators, environmentalists and businesses.
(See also: "MSD awarded 2014 U.S. Water Prize".)
Orange County Water District and Sanitation District
Orange County Water District and Sanitation District's Ground Water Replenishment System is recognized for its reclamation and reuse efforts Their work to reclaim 70 million gallons per day is expanding to 100 million gallons per day, all to reduce regional water insecurity and recharge precious supplies.